Schools and the labour market (a) Making people employable Nicholas Gillett (b) Need for better links between school and work —
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation sponsored two conferences around the theme, Education and the Urban Crisis, for the following reasons. First, the Foundation thought it important to try and bring together information on the current trends in our inner city areas in order to judge whether British cities were slipping into a disorder similar to that occurring in the USA. Second, if our cities were beginning to follow the American pattern, the Foundation wanted to know what part our educational system could play in reversing this trend. This introduction draws on the conference papers and discussions to introduce the reader to the two main themes explored in this book. The first part attempts to outline the main economic developments in inner city areas in Britain. In doing so we suggest that use of the term 'urban crisis' is but another way of discussing the persistence of poverty in Britain. The second part of the essay then turns to review the extent to which our schools are contributing to, or can be used to counter, inner city poverty. The conclusion pinpoints the action programme detailed in chapter 4 of the book.